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Why Should You Die?

Why Should You Die?

13 September 2009

Scripture:

As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die? (Ezekiel 33:11 NLT)

God’s grace is inexplicable, unfathomable, and scandalous! It just doesn’t make sense!

For centuries and generations God warned Israel and Judah to turn from evil and idolatry and simply honor him and obey his simple instructions. God spoke often of his anger at sinful Israel, unfaithful Judah, and their wicked kings and unholy priests. His warnings of impending judgment became more dire and more urgent and then the axe began to fall.

Yet here in the final hours of Judah’s existence, years after Israel’s fall, God spoke his grace to his people one last time – “I only want you to turn from your wicked ways so you can live!”

God isn’t after revenge. It’s not “I’ve had it up to here with you. Now you’re going to pay!” God just wants people to choose life!

It really doesn’t make sense, you know. We’re wired to keep a perennial scorecard of right and wrong and their consequences. Whether we call it karma, justice, or “getting what you deserve,” we want the ledger balanced, the score tallied, and the debt paid. Unless it’s our debt, of course!

I don’t pretend to understand all this. I only know that in a couple of situations recently I’ve felt the forgiving, debt-canceling, sin-removing grace of God at work. I’ve felt in my own mind and heart the grace-attitude of God toward the person who acknowledged his sin and said, “I’m not going to do that anymore.”

Prayer:

Father, Thank you for the on-going work of grace you so patiently continue in me. Help me to be so transformed by grace that I truly take no pleasure in the consequences of sin. And help me grasp that you have the same grace-attitude in your heart towards me. Thank you for your scandalous grace! Amazing Grace! Amen!

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